"In the early 19th century, when pioneers came to the rugged foothills of Missouri from Tennessee, Virginia, and Kentucky, they soon realized that a horse with a natural four beat gait would be ideal for the rocky and forested land. Farmers selectively bred for the gliding fox trot by blending American Saddle Horses, Standardbreds, and Tennessee Walkers with the Morgan, Thoroughbred and Arabian. An early breeding policy was to use horses that had reached fast running speeds.
Influential stallions include Brimmer, a Thoroughbred, Old Skip, a Morgan/Thoroughbred cross, and the two American Saddlebred stallions, Chief and Cotham Dare.
The settlers used the horses for working cattle ranches and for transportation of local officials, such as the sheriff and local doctor. In the early 20th century, the Fox Trotter survived because ranchers found it to be irreplaceable."